Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Two Computer Questions Regarding Windows and Explorer

Hi everyone. I have a friend who has two Microsoft Windows problems, and I was wondering if anyone might have any suggestions, other than buy a Mac, since he can't do that :-). I am helping him which is really a scary thought.

Internet Explorer locks up within a minute of being opened. I have installed Firefox for him and imported all his Explorer settings and bookmarks and such so he has that to use. He had "upgraded" to Internet Explorer 7. We uninstalled Explorer 7 leaving him with Explorer 6, but the problem persisted. We also installed XP Service Pack 3 but that didn't help, and we ended up uninstalling it. Is it possible to remove Internet Explorer altogether and reinstall it from a Windows disk or a download? I just don't know at what level Windows and Explorer are integrated and if you can really "get rid of" Explorer.

Also, the "Help and Support Center" won't open. Click on it and the hour glass hovers for a second or two and then disappears. Some of the ideas I found online call for deep edits of the registry files, and I am hesitant to try that for him.

I have a suspicion that the problems are related but I may be wrong.

Is it possible to reinstall Windows XP SP2 on top of a preexisting Windows SP2, sort of like you might do in an upgrade?

I know, in a perfect world we would all have Macs.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Downtown Clemson, Fall 1977 - Name that Car

Far left side, parked:
4th car from bottom: MGB
8th car from bottom: Volkswagen Beetle

Far right side, parked:
2nd car from bottom: Opel GT

Left side driving:
1st car from bottom, driving toward me: - Ford Pinto

Check out more of my old black and white shots.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Franklyn Ajaye at Clemson

In the fall of 1977 I took a bunch of B&W pictures of downtown Clemson. I wrote an article to go with the pictures. The article and pictures appeared in the 1978 TAPS, the Clemson yearbook. These pictures, which I took, were scanned from the 1978 TAPS, loaned to me by a friend.

I don't remember "Car Wash." Was it a good movie?

See more pictures of Clemson, 1977, on my Flickr Site.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Great Site -

I would love to be apart of a site like this - it's very cool. Maybe a NC branch?

Click on the link below for a story about SC blue granite and scroll down to the bottom. You never know when someone will find your work. This makes me happy.


SC Summers Past

Kids from our 500 mile bicycle tour of SC, May 1977, somewhere in the coastal plane of SC between Columbia and Charleston. We rode by these guys and they were very curious and ran out to the road to talk to us, so we stopped to hang out for a while. They were great. We rode around in the wagon and generally horsed around for an hour so, and then had to move on. I often think of these guys and wondered what came of them. I love South Carolina! For more pictures of my homeland, look at my South Carolina set on Flickr.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Jews Invade GSO

I was scanning we101 to see what I'd missed the last few days when I came across this blog title, "Christians Invade GBO." Fec's a funny guy, so I read it. He makes me laugh even when he is very nasty. I even thought his comments on the Christian tour bus were funny:

"I spent the afternoon doing chores so boring as to be indescribable. My diabetes meds and lack of food gave me the shakes, so I ran over to McDonald’s on HP Road for a burger. As I arrived in the drive-thru lane, I noticed two large Christian Tour buses in the parking lot. The sadly dressed occupants were wandering around like rejects from a bad George Romero movie. Actually, I’m not aware of any good Romero movies, but that’s not the point. The good people of GSO should not have to put up with such people in our public places. Don’t they have churches or something for these extremely stupid and unattractive people, except for one scrumptious thing who is, undoubtedly, on her last Christian Tour? I was not aware the McD’s on HP Road was a shrine. They almost ruined my appetite."

Now it's no skin of my nose really, but I did wonder....suppose we substituted "Jews" for "Christians" in the post. I have no doubt that Jewish people do bus tours too. They probably even stop to eat, well, somewhere.

Imagine reading:

"Don’t they have synagogues or something for these extremely stupid and unattractive people, except for one scrumptious thing who is, undoubtedly, on her last Jewish Tour? I was not aware the McD’s on HP Road was a shrine. They almost ruined my appetite."

My guess is if I wrote an article entitled "Jews Invade Greensboro" I'd be roundly condemned. I would called hateful and many other awful things.

But Fec didn't get of that. So why not?

These double standards reveal much about us. And they should bother all of us.

The Past Becomes the Present

I received an e-mail from someone who linked to this long chain over at Word Up. I wish I hadn't clicked on the link, but I did. It was oh so edifying and helpful.

As I read through the chain I kept having these memories, hazy, like in a dream. Images came and went through my mind too fast for me to identify them. I couldn't figure it out.

Then I remembered....

But I wonder, which name in the thread goes with which face in the picture?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Cycling South Carolina

This is a picture of my old Sekine bicycle against a tree near Clemson 1976. I loved taking off on my bike while in college and exploring the old highways and byways of upstate NW South Carolina.Check out of black and white Flickr set.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


I saw Wall-E with my good friend Kyle Suggs last evening. I'll have more to say later about the movie but suffice it to say for now that this is a great flick. Pixar should be very proud. Unbelievable animation. Great story. Many clever nods to movies past. It's even thought provoking. If you have not seen it you should check it out. I'm already thinking about when I can see it again.

Hanging Out at Hanging Rock

Back on the last Sunday in May some folks from our church drove up to Hanging Rock State Park. We took "the long way" up to Hanging Rock proper, via Wolfe's Rock. Several of us were looking back on the trail which had taken us to the top when Mike Ehrhardt snapped this picture. That's me pointing! It's great to have such a beautiful place so close. Hopefully this July 4 weekend we'll hike up to Moore's Knob. If you've never been you should. Moore's Knob has perhaps the most impressive 360 degree view in the entire Piedmont Region of the United States. You can find more picture from that hike on my Flickr site.

Bad Rhino

I love the Rhino Times generally, but their annual educational salary listing always aggravates me.

One mistake was made regarding the highest paid teacher who is not a coach or AD. The article says:

"The highest paid teacher who is not an athletic director or ROTC instructor is Ann McCary, a teacher of exceptional preschool children, who is paid $72,000. There are 15 other teachers who make over $70,000 a year."

Actually, according to the listing itself, the highest paid teacher who is not an AD makes $73, 120. This teacher happens to be a good friend of mine. She has 35 years of educational experience, a doctorate, and National Board Certification. I personally think that it is a travesty that the highest paid teacher in a large county-wide district of this size (and with such qualifications) only makes $73, 000. That's a pity. What does that say about the rest of the teacher salaries.

I think is tacky for the Rhino Times to publish this list in the first place. Yes, it is public information, but publishing the list has a voyeuristic feel to it, and I can't see how it promotes anything good. It is well to remember also that these salaries are all set my strict salary schedules. You can find those schedules on the Guilford County Schools site. Check out the salaries at the lower end. That's the real story.

Just keep in mind what kind of salaries await college graduates in any number of other fields and you will understand why it is hard to attract and maintain quality teachers.

Mr. Hammer repeats the mantra about Christmas and Easter breaks, and about that two month period of time in the summer that teachers are supposedly more or less on vacation. Believe me, that two month break is a double edged sword. When I taught school I had to work every summer to make needs meet, and finding that work was always a challenge in itself. Mr. Hammer concedes that such a break may be worthwhile to mitigate against burn out. yeah, you think?

Few people who have not done classroom teaching have any idea how draining it is, and more and more with all the discipline issues and stupid stuff coming down from on high.

The article also says the following:

"Also missing from the list is last year's highest paid principal, Valerie Collins, who was at Brown Summit Middle School last year and working on her doctorate. She was making $140,000 last year and is not on the list this year. "

Well, there is a good reason that Ms. Collins is no longer on the list. She had a sudden heart attack this spring and died.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Collins this year and seeing her navigate her way through a very tricky situation. She was a delightful person and a fair minded and conscientious administrator of a coveted program at Browns Summit Middle School (which my daughter will be attending in the fall).

I think that saying what was said about her was the height of bad taste. No doubt the Rhino didn't know. But, since the point of the story was the "new" people at the top of the list, one would think the reporter would have wondered what happened to those folks no longer there. I hope there will be a front page apology to the family.

Personal Note: I like the Rhino Times and agree with John Hammer on many more issues than not, and I think he is a great guy. I applaud his devotion to this city, and the great success of the Rhino Times which I read every week. Thus I hate getting on his case about this issue each year; but I wish he would stop doing this to our teachers.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Looking Harder at the Second Amendment

I have always felt like I was in a no man’s land on the issue of the right to gun ownership.

From a practical life standpoint I think that disarming the law-abiding citizens while keeping the criminals armed (defacto) is sheer insanity. I would like every criminal who thinks of pulling out a gun to worry that he might get killed - immediately. I have encouraged all my daughters to pursue getting concealed weapons permits as soon as they are old enough (though I don't own and have never owned a gun).

I have always thought that there OUGHT to be a right to private gun ownership for hunting (I am not a hunter myself) and for reasons of legitimate self protection. But I have never been able to read this right into the second amendment.

I have always had the notion that the right to own guns and knives and such was merely assumed by the framers. It seems assumed by the second amendment itself, unless we imagine all these unarmed people showing up for militia duty asking "hey, anybody got a gun?"

I doubt any of the states except maybe Rhode Island would have ratified the Constitution if they had thought there was any doubt about the right to personal or private gun ownership. Again, I think the right was simply assumed.

But I have always thought that that assumption (sadly) didn't make it into the wording of the second amendment.

Anti gun ownership folks look hard at the second amendment to find the right of private/personal gun ownership. They don’t see it.

Pro gun ownership folks look hard at the second amendment to find the right of private/personal gun ownership. They seem to see it clearly.

As for me, I am generally supportive of the idea that individuals ought to be able to own guns, yet I simply have not understood how that right can be read out of the second amendment.

And so, I look forward to reading carefully the majority and minority opinions in the recent ruling on Washington DC’s restrictive gun laws. If Scalia has made a compelling argument, I will be glad.

Thanks to Bubba for posting the link.

Cat Napping

Yes, both Curduroy and I were fast asleep. Picture taken by Anna Gillespie, shown HERE with her sister Heather (Anna on right).

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Iris Dement at Cat's Cradle June 28 - A Short Review and Set List

My daughter Heather and I enjoyed a Saturday evening Iris Dement concert at Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill/Carrboro NC. Cat’s Cradle is a good venue for Iris and her music – very intimate and good sound quality. It was jam packed.

Compared to when Heather and I saw her two years ago, Iris seemed more confident, more relaxed, and less fragile (though that fragility added something special to the show two years ago). She did not play as many of her older songs this time. During the show she said she was losing her voice but I thought her voice was better than two years ago, plus I thought it got better as the show went on. She seemed to really be putting herself into the singing, the phrasing and such. I'll go see her any time she is close.

Unlike last time, she did not play solo. Two gentlemen from John Prine’s band, Dave Jacques on bass, and Jason Wilbur on guitar, played with her. She seemed to enjoy the company on stage and it made her songs sound a bit more like they sound in the recordings. These guys are first class and Iris deemed to feed off their talent and energy. She talked less and laughed more compared to last time.

Dave Jaques opened the show with a set of about half a dozen songs, mostly original. I really liked him. The line was too long at the show to get a CD but I plan to soon.

I have two wishes: it seems that Iris has enough new original songs for another CD of her original music. Plus, since I got to hear her cover more songs this time including Merle Haggard (three songs), Tom T. Hall, Hank Williams, Doc Watson, and Greg Brown). I'd love her to do a record just covering other people's songs. It doesn't matter who wrote it, when she sings it it feels like an Iris Dement song!

Here is the set list, as best as I can put it together. I am a little uncertain of the titles of a couple of the songs. Iris Dement fans tend to just call her “Iris” so I’ll do the same – but it’s not like I know her!

Oh, I mention whether she played guitar or piano. Her piano playing was way stronger than last time. I love her unique honky-tonk/gospel “Iris” style. It makes me want to play more.

1. Jambalaya (On the Bayou) - (Hank Williams) - guitar
2. The Old Gospel Ship – guitar
3. I Washed My Face in The Morning Dew (Tom T Hall) - guitar
4. The Way I Should - guitar
5. Let the Mystery Be - guitar
6. He Reached Down - piano
7. Legle's Hill - piano
8. Going Away Party (Merle Haggard –Iris mentioned Cindy Walker) - piano
9. When My Morning Comes Around - piano
10. Living on the Inside - piano
11. Pray (Merle Haggard) - piano
12. Mama's Truth - piano
13. This Love's Gonna Last - guitar
14. Our Town - guitar
15. The Night I Learned How Not to Pray - guitar
16. Cheapest Kind (Greg Brown, her husband) – guitar
17. Whole Lot of Heaven - fantastic Iris song I had not heard before - guitar

18. Mama Tried (Merle Haggard) - guitar
19. Sunny Side of Life (Doc Watson) – guitar

If you are not familiar with Iris Dement there are some good clips of her on You Tube. Try these:

Sweet is the Melody
My Life
Our Town - with Emmylou Harris
In Spite of Ourselves - with John Prine
He Reached Down - with Joan Osborne (not You Tube)

You can listen to some Jason Wilbur songs on his MySpace site - I really liked Lazy Afternoon.

I Was Enjoying My Nap

Corduroy, on Madeline's Bed. You are invited to peruse the Flickr Photostream of joelgillespie1957.